Does the Marketing Funnel Hold up Against Today’s Digital Buyer’s Journey?

digital buyers journey

Gone are the days when consumers were bound to browsing a limited selection of products in a brick-and-mortar location before making their purchase decision. As more and more people begin using their devices for immediate answers, marketers have had to reevaluate the effectiveness of the traditional marketing funnel as well.

In the last six months, thousands of users’ clickstream data were compiled and analyzed by Google and Verto Analytics. The key finding? No two customer journeys are alike.

The common thread between today’s customers is that, unlike in the funnel model, their digital buyer’s journey will “widen and narrow” multiple times throughout the digital buying process. The path that users take to collect research via repeat search engine queries, YouTube reviews and product comparisons is no longer linear.

Another fundamental shift from the traditional marketing funnel is that the digital buyer’s journey no longer ends at purchase. Consider someone traveling via an airplane. The traditional funnel depicts a customer journey ending upon ticket purchase, but today that same user’s Google searches will progress long after they book their flight. Queries about the plane they will be flying on, how to access their boarding pass online and what size of luggage they can carry on the plane will extend their journey far past point of purchase.

Learn more about how search intent is redefining the digital marketing funnel and the digital buyer’s journey in this article by Think with Google.